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The legacy of Dudley George

June 2006
Like it or not, Caledonia has the ghost of Dudley George hanging over it. You have a provincial government so fearful of another native protester being killed by police that they are completely ignoring unlawful behaviour on the part of the native protesters, not to mention its complete refusal to enforce the court order of Superior Court Justice David Marshall to remove the protesters. What does it say about our country when a group is allowed to so blatantly violate the law?
Yes, I know that laws get broken all the time with little or no consequence, but when it comes to “law and order” versus “anarchy”, there is no room for discretionary enforcement.

It’s sad to think that some may call me racist for stating these opinions, because that is completely missing my point. This is not some “white-against-native” rant. It is simply hard to ignore the fact that the Caledonia protesters are steadfastly ignoring a court order with no apparent consequences. What would have happened to members of Amalgamated Transit Union if they had disobeyed the “cease-and-desist order” obtained by TTC management to end their wildcat strike last May? Would they have been met with the same inaction?

I think the behaviour by the native protesters does a disservice to the memory of Dudley George by turning his death into an excuse for lawlessness. Dudley George should not have died and it’s a tragedy that he did, just like it was a tragedy when Corporal Marcel Lemay of the Sûreté du Québec was killed during the Oka crisis in 1990.

In his column in the Toronto Sun on 31 July 2006, Peter Worthington quoted Star Trek’s Mr. Spock, “The purpose of diplomacy is to prolong a crisis.” I think that about sums it up. Premier McGinty, Prime Minister Harper, it is time to end this standoff. I also appeal to the members of the Six Nations of the Grand River to end their protest peacefully. No one wants another “Dudley” to die any more that we want another “Marcel” to die.

Let’s stop fighting and remember that warriors from the Six Nations were once our “brothers-in-arms”, fighting side-by-side with British soldiers during the War of 1812.

This is beside the fact that Aboriginal soldiers have fought and died beside British and Canadian soldiers with honour from the American Revolutionary War up to the present day.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

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